Blind Husky Gets Help Seeing From His Best Friend, A Malamute
A dog’s bond knows no bounds, and it’s not just for humans. In the case of Siberian husky Sterling and Alaskan Malamute Walker, best dog friends grew even closer as Sterling needed some extra help from his family. Nearly four years ago, the Siberian husky was diagnosed with glaucoma, a condition that left him blind. Now Walker acts as Sterling’s unofficial guide dog.
Lillian and Martin McKee are the loving owners of the pup. “The boys are very bonded and have been for a very long time,” Lillian shares with My Modern Met. “They are both rescues and were rescued from Texas Sled Dog Rescue when I was living in Houston about a year apart. They are also about a year old.
Dogs have long leaned on each other to face fears and new challenges. “Walker was actually quite scared of new things when I got him, but he learned from Sterling that life in the big world could be fun and not so scary, that car journeys lead to things and places fun, and that people, even scary men, can give lots of love and attention. We moved to Seattle about six and a half years ago and the bond between the boys has grown even stronger with more outdoor adventures.
In June 2018, Lillian and Martin noticed Sterling’s eyes were starting to get cloudy, and he was later diagnosed with the eye disease. “Sterling took it like a champ,” Lillian recalled. “We actually went hiking right after the diagnosis. We promised Sterling that his life would not change with the diagnosis, but I was terrified that I couldn’t keep that promise. As Sterling’s vision began to fade, we battled the inevitable blindness that would come with canine glaucoma. For 18 months, they fought to preserve Sterling’s eyesight and even incorporated RexSpecs – goggles specially designed for dogs – to protect his eyes.
Despite losing his sight, Sterling still does many things he loves. “He still runs regularly with Martin and Walker,” says Lillian. “We always hike with friends and we always volunteer with Washington Alaskan Malamute Rescue. We haven’t noticed much change, except that her bond with all of us has grown stronger. He’s more of a mama’s boy and we’ve noticed that he only really wrestles and plays with Walker, whereas before he played with other dog friends.
The two puppies are so bonded that they miss each other when one is away. Lillian bathes them together, they nap near each other, and they enjoy outdoor adventures together. They also respect each other, especially Walker.
“One of the things I’ve noticed about a lot of blind dog ‘siblings’ is that the sighted dog often gets mad at the blind dog for bumping into them. It’s not a problem with boys,” Lillian says. “Sterling often pushes Walker around and Walker usually gets up and moves or if Walker sees Sterling coming towards him he will get up and move. I don’t know if he actually knows Sterling is blind because that he still follows Sterling’s lead on a lot of things, but he’s incredibly considerate of Sterling, so he just knows and respects Sterling or just respects Sterling as an older brother.
Lillian and Martin chronicle the boys’ lives on their Instagram account, @sterlingandwalker. Follow along to see what the two are up to next.
The Siberian Husky Sterling and the Alaskan Malamute Walker are a dog’s best friend.
In June 2018, Sterling was diagnosed with canine glaucoma, which caused her to lose her sight.
Fortunately, he had Walker and his human parents Lillian and Martin by his side.
They bought him special dog glasses to help protect his vision.
With Walker as his unofficial guide dog and his parents by his side, Sterling is still able to do the things he loves…
…including outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest.
Sterling and Walker: Instagram
My Modern Met has granted permission to feature photos by Lillian McKee.
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